Beaucaire is a barber for the Royal French court who becomes a real "royal pain" for the king. As a result he is sent to the guillotine - however he is saved by the Duc de Chandre, who rescues and transports him to the Spanish court. While there Beaucaire poses as a noblesman. The only problem is, he gets into even more trouble. Written by
Bob Hope movies of the 1930s and 40s are all very pleasant entertainment, though for comedies the laughs are usually not as obvious or often as you might find in many comedies of the era. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the films are a bit more plot-driven than many comedies and in general these films have held up much better than his later films (particularly those from the 1960s). However, I noticed one reviewer gave this one a 10 and suggested Hope should have received Oscar consideration for this film....yeah, right. They're not THAT good!
The film finds Bob playing a barber in the latter portion of Louis XV's reign (about 1770 more or less). Naturally Bob is a bit of a screw up and gets in trouble. But, there is a way out--he has to agree to pose as the Duke--a man who is to marry the Spanish princess and solidify an alliance between the countries. But, no one realizes that a crazy Spanish general (Joseph Schildkraut) has plans to kill the Duke, as he WANTS the countries at war with each other! So, it's up to the cowardly Hope to try to save his butt and, hopefully, find love. As for the Duke (Patric Knowles), he's fallen in love with a woman and doesn't really want to marry a princess he's never met. Can it all work out in the end and everyone live happily ever after?
The movie is relatively low on laughs--particularly the climactic sword-fighting scene (it's rather lame). But, Hope is an agreeable personality in the film and that makes up for the problems...which would include the3 fact that NONE of the French or Spanish people looked or talked like they came from these countries. Heck, Schildkraut was Austrian and sounded NOTHING like a Spaniard! And Hope seemed about as French as Nelson Mandella! Still, a nice and agreeable little film.
By the way, the original "Monsieur Beaucaire" was a silent film starring Rudolph Valentino and was not a comedy. Also, although this is only of interest to history teachers, the film talked about the guillotine several times, though it was not used for the first time until about 1791--during the French Revolution.
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